My very first memory of school – sitting on my grandma’s lap on the front porch –
“Grandma – when can I go to school”? I asked.
We had just watched a neighborhood boy walk past on the other side of the road –
His name was Denny and I later found out he was two years older than me!
So – I am thinking I was about four years old and I can still see him in my mind and me asking her.
I attended this old school until the fourth grade!
It was at that time – we merged with Duke Center – Rixford and Eldred to form OTTO-ELDRED.
At this time a brand new elementary school had been built right across the street from the ballpark!
I would not have to walk a mile to school in the mornings!
But – I remember that old school and my teachers and the classrooms.
The very first class was in the front and face the main street and I had Mrs. Shields.
We started off spelling the normal way – sounding out the words –
but soon after – we switched to the new way – MEMORY!
That went on for a couple years but it left me and others I know – very poor spellers.
Across the main street and the railroad tracks – lays what we called THE FLATS!
And just beyond that the Alleghany River!
It seemed growing up part of life in the Spring were floods!
In 1954 or 1955 or thereabouts –
I was told not to go near the water flooded on the main street – I was maybe 6 years old.
But – I had made a raft and was sailing it on the main street – standing up and poling my way around
in about two feet of floodwater.
Unbeknown to me – a photographer from the local Bradford Era Newspaper – took my picture!
I was caught – standing on my homemade raft – poling my way around the main street –
ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE BRADFORD ERA!
But – I also shared that front page later in life with my dad!
He made a bet on the heavyweight champion of the world fight and picked
FLOYD PATTERSON – the bet – the loser would wheelbarrow the winner down Mainstreet
To Slavin’s Bar – my dad won and made that same newspaper front page being pushed by HERKY!
A WWII bomber pilot who had been shot down and made it to the allies’ lines!
This sits right across from the ballpark and tennis courts –
I was the first class in there in the fifth grade – Miss Cawley!
Mr. Harrington was my sixth-grade teacher and Principle!
Many games of RED ROVER RED ROVER please send ???? over!
Was played right there on that circle drive in front of the doors.
Later in life – I walked my youngest son down to those front doors and inside to enroll him in Kindergarten – and standing in the lobby with all those parents he reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a bunch of dirt and worms!
He had stopped on our walk and without me knowing – stuffed his pocket with dirt and worms!
THAT I shall always remember!
We were bussed every day from the seventh grade on seven miles to school in Duke Center, Pa.
Three communities combined to have one single H.S. but each community had its own
grade schools and one township grade school.
We had to find our own way home after sports practices if we did not ride the bus.
My good buddy and I – later in H.S. road with his dad to school.
He would play up to date 45 records of music between classes all day long.
His favorite back then was PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS – “GLAD ALL OVER”
and it was everywhere in the hallways – piped through the loudspeaker system!
I have always said someday I would like to go back and rewalk those halls to that blast of music!
It was across from here I watched a fight between two seniors – and I was one of a hundred people!
I still see it in my mind and they were about three years older than us.
Their names were Ron and Jim!
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Every once in a while – the three of them get together and then the magic happens. They seem to find everything and anything to dress up.
Be it as it may – I never cease to be amazed how well they get along. Hours and hours they will play. Never a argument – always laughing and they adore Sarah!
I wonder how it will be in a couple weeks when the new brother for the twins comes along. “MAXPANDA” they call him already. Already they walk around with little baby dolls , dressing “HIM” up , and when they come to “MORMOR’S” house, out comes all the old dolls of Debby & Tammy’s , along with all the outfits she made for them.
I can see it in the future – Taylor , Cassidy & Sarah all standing by the little brother known as “MAXPANDA” , looking down before they are off to DRESS UP once again.
A few years from now , it will be the three and BIG COUSIN Sarah – playing at PAPA & MORMOR’S – another adventure
in our lives to soon begin.
Can’t wait to see the outfits then – and my memory of them now will last for as long as I live. THE FROG , THE PRINCES AND THE BIG COUSIN – WAITING FOR “MAXPANDA” !!!!!!!!!